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Possible Side Effects of MAOIs

Most Common Side Effects

  • dry mouth
  • light-headedness, dizziness
  • low blood pressure
  • headache (mild)
  • sleepiness, tiredness, weakness
  • trouble sleeping
  • muscle twitching during sleep
  • shakiness, trembling, restlessness
  • blurred vision
  • weight gain
  • reduced tolerance for alcohol
  • decreased amount of urine
  • decreased sexual ability
  • increased appetite (especially for sweets) or weight gain

Less common side effects

High Blood Pressure
May occur if you eat restricted foods or medications. Early symptoms of rising blood pressure may include stiff neck, headache, palpitations, chest pain, nausea or vomiting, flushing or chills, apprehension, pallor or sweating. This can lead to hypertensive crisis (extremely high blood pressure) and when severe and can be life-threatening.

Stop taking the MAO Inhibitor and get emergency help if you experience signs of very high blood pressure including:
  • Severe chest pain
  • fast or slow heartbeat;
  • Severe headaches
  • Severe Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • increased sweating (possibly with fever or cold, clammy skin)
  • nausea and vomiting
  • stiff or sore neck
  • swelling of feet or lower legs
  • increased sensitivity of eyes to light
  • enlarged pupils


Rare Side Effects

  • Dark urine
  • fever
  • skin rash
  • slurred speech
  • sore throat
  • staggering walk
  • yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects are not serious. However, tell your doctor if these bother you or do not go away, or if you experience any other unexplained side effects.